The Top 10 On Ground at BIGSOUND 2016!

Now that the BIGSOUND dust has settled and the industry has returned to some sense of normal; our on-ground team have been going back through notes jotted down on phones, ‘Definitely check out…’ style messages sent back and forth, in determining the selection of bands who stood out as strong winners across the board. With many of these artists still on tour, or with tour dates/new music on the near horizon, now’s a good time to get around them, if you’re not already.


“A stand out performer of Thursday night’s program, Olympia nailed her show at Ric’s Backyard following on from a quick set at The Brightside earlier that evening. Her full live band matches Olivia Bartley’s captivating stage presence and in all, made for a show that was unforgettable.”

Where You Can See Her Next: 

Olympia is out on the road this October and November! Dates below:

October 29th | Oxford Art Factory, SYDNEY
November 4th | Waratah Hotel, HOBART
November 5th | Jive Bar, ADELAIDE
November 12th | Howler, MELBOURNE
November 18th | The Brightside, BRISBANE



“Bringing some Brisbane flavour through to Heya Bar on Thursday night, Babaganouj showed us why they’ve really come through as one of the east coast’s most exciting indie bands. Having been into their latest music thanks to Hard To Be, it was great to finally see them do their thing on the live front. Definitely one of my highlights.”

“Brisbane darlings Babaganouj were an undeniable BIGSOUND highlight. Amongst the thoroughfare of energy and antics that was the past week, Babaganouj brought their saccharine indie-pop melodies and a showcase that showed their professionalism as artists, as well as being completely captivating. Whilst Charles Sales’ guitar was heroed at times, it was the relaxed, guitar-laden tunes and the trio’s vocal harmonies that swept me away. The shared songwriting between Charles, Ruby, and Harriette culminates in the unique, delicious sound that is Babaganouj. These guys have been making music for a while, and have recently been signed to a Japanese label – stay tuned for great things in the future.”

What’s Coming Up Next For Babaganouj:

Head on over to the band’s Bandcamp NOW to get your mitts on Hard To Be – click HERE to get involved.

Credit: Naomi Beveridge
Credit: Naomi Beveridge


“Well, damn. These guys were my pick of the night – driving, groovy, dark, menacing, and fabulous. Stay tuned during and after BIGSOUND for more coverage; a three-person band shouldn’t have such an atmosphere (we’re going to have to learn their secrets). They presented a disjointed kind of beauty between the grinding riffs and melodies, and an understanding that was evident between band members.”

Where You Can See Them Next:

Heads Of Charm are on tour for a couple of shows until the end of September – dates below:

September 16th | The Eastern, BALLAST
September 25th | Sounds of the Suburbs, CRONULLA
September 30th | Gin Lane, BELGRAVE




“You couldn’t have asked for a better act to kick pre-BIGSOUND shenanigans off with than Ecca Vandal owning the stage of The Triffid, down to fabulous yellow tartan pants. She’s an artist to watch, bringing dance punk/meets Beastie Boys/meets the Refused/meets M.I.A – it’s a sound that’s uniquely hers, bringing her South African heritage through. She emulated an unmistakably cool kind of control across the stage, enthralling the crowd and showcasing her beautiful vocals.”

“…They finished their set with a spectacular cover of the Beastie Boys classic “Sabotage”, aided by Ecca Vandal, whose set at The Brightside the night before was an easy highlight, with the artist providing herself to be at the top of the game, leaving us all wanting more.”

Where You Can See Her Next:

Ecca Vandal plays the Rolling Stone Live Lodge on September 23rd! More information, HERE.



Gabriella was her normal charming self, immediately winning the crowd over with her unique indie-pop melodies – stay tuned for more coverage of her in the days to come. The writer was a bit too blissed out to remember too much more, but the song “I Don’t Feel So Alive” definitely had audience members considering how they’d be feeling the next morning.”

Where You Can See Her Next:

Gabriella is on tour with Julia Jacklin this November and December! Dates below:

November 17th | The Foundry, BRISBANE
November 23rd | Jive, ADELAIDE
November 24th | Howler, MELBOURNE
December 9th | Oxford Art Factory, SYDNEY



Ceres give us uninhibited honesty across their catchy pop-punk. Pair that with their perfectly bleak undertones at times, and you get music that makes you feel – their gig was a cathartic experience, but by no means in a dull way.”

“Ceres made me tear up twice on Tuesday night. Fuck them. Also, amazing show.”

Where You Can See Them Next:

Ceres are touring their new album Drag It Down On You this October and November! Dates below:

October 28th | Northcote Social Club, MELBOURNE
November 4th | Crowbar, BRISBANE
November 5th | Exeter Beer Garden, ADELAIDE
November 6th | Til the Wheels Fall Off, LAUNCESTON
November 12th | Newtown Social Club, SYDNEY

001middlekidsMIDDLE KIDS

Middle Kids were another of the buzz bands at the festival and absolutely packed out Oh Hello! – with terrible sight lines aside, it was a great set. Lead vocalist Hannah Joy proves a powerful talent, with the band crafting some clever songs. She reminded me of Fiona Apple at times – with that slight fragility but moments of total power. I loved when they scaled it back to just the piano too for that very reason. They certainly cemented their position as a band to watch here at BIGSOUND.”

Where You Can See Them Next:

Middle Kids have some sets lined up for Sydney and Melbourne this October – dates below:

October 21st | Plan B, SYDNEY
October 26th | Workers Club, MELBOURNE


West Thebarton Brothel Party set the standard pretty fucking high early on; as one of the early shows on their ‘Four More Years Tour’, their BIGSOUND set was easily the best show I’ve seen the Adelaide seven-piece play and stood out as one of my favourite moments of the showcase run this year.”

Where You Can See Them Next:

West Theb are currently wrapping up their east coast tour – dates below:

September 17th | Stonecutters, ADELAIDE
September 30th | The Old Bar, MELBOURNE
October 1st | Chopped Festival, NEWSTEAD
October 14th | Jive, ADELAIDE



Ainslie Wills, meanwhile, is just too good to be playing BIGSOUND. She should be playing the City Recital Halls and Opera Houses of the world, instead of slumming it with us industry hooligans. Her music is perfect, and among the most world class you’ll hear at a festival like this. I don’t know how else to describe it.”

Where You Can See Her Next:

Ainslie is heading overseas, setting her eyes on the UK – dates below:

September 26th | Manchester Academy 3 (Supporting GROUPLOVE)
September 27th | Electric Ballroom, LONDON (Supporting GROUPLOVE)
October 2nd | Notting Hill Arts Club, LONDON (Communion Music Club Night)



“Nearly every delegate who I asked about their BIGSOUND highlights mentioned Flowertruck, and they are definitely deserving of the praise – even being bestowed the honour of rounding out the official closing party. Charles Rushforth leads with his unique vocals, somewhere between Talking Heads and The Smiths; the post New Wave, guitar fuelled pop rock outfit won hearts across the festival. If you’ve been depriving your ears of some emotionally-charged garage pop, get on these guys right now – you won’t regret it.”

Where You Can See Them Next:

Flowertruck have some final shows for September coming up – dates below:

September 16th | Franks Wild Years, THIRROUL
September 23rd | Penny Black, BRUNSWICK

BIGSOUND Live shots by Zakarij Kaczmarek.


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